With the recent the unveiling of Audio, Video, Disco, French electronic duo Justice have officially entered the promotional fray. The album might be kept under lock and key, but that doesn't mean the duo haven't started dishing out details about the new record.
On the phone from the UK, and through a thick French accent, Justice's Xavier de Rosnay recently spoke to Exclaim!, shedding light on what we can expect from the anticipated LP, among other things.
The concept for Audio, Video, Disco, says de Rosnay, is largely similar to that of their debut, 2007's .
"It's a disco opera, although it's probably less disco in the sense that we didn't make it so key," he explains. "We tried to make this record not too groovy, but with really simple movements. We were still aiming at making the same kind of opera record, but just [according to] what we think is the pop music of today. When we made this record, we wanted to create something very laid back and a bit 'countryside-ish.' You know, daytime music."
That's right: according to de Rosnay, gone is the speaker-thrashing distortion that defined . "What we wanted to do was keep the beats, but make it more soft. One of the challenges of this record was to make it feel emotionally heavy without being aggressive. Like being soft and violent at the same time. The texture of the new record is really soft."
Asked whether the new album is a response to the distorted volume of their debut, de Rosnay claims, "We didn't look back when we made the new record. It was not made in reaction to what we did before. We didn't try to change too much, and we didn't try to redo the same thing as well. We were just making something that was natural to us, without wondering too much about what we should do, or how."
The group might be experimenting with new sounds -- the new album includes guitars, and a number of vocal guests -- but de Rosnay is keen to assert that Justice are still firmly entrenched in electronic music.
"We want the records we make to sound electronic," he states. "The reason why we use computers and stuff is because it's easier, and we like the way it sounds. We like very much the sound and the power of electronic music; we didn't want the new record to sound analog, that doesn't matter to us."
Then, to drive the point home: "We want to make the music of today with the equipment of today."
De Rosnay might be using the term "electronic" lightly: Exclaim! has heard the record, and amongst more electronic-leaning tracks were prog tunes, mid-tempo guitar tracks and a flute solo. A number of publications have even pointed to the Eagles and Supertramp as potential influences on the sound of Audio, Video, Disco.
Asked whether these bands actually inspired the record, de Rosnay responds, "It's really hard for us to know, because we don't have enough distance. We know what we do, but everybody will hear something different. I was talking to another journalist, and he could hear a lot of Supertramp in the new album, but although I love Supertramp, I don't really see where it is in this record. At the same time, I didn't want to tell him, 'No, it's not there,' because if he hears it, then he's probably right. It's hard to say. Everybody hears something different, and I'm cool with that."
How will fans of dig the new sound, then? "We have no idea. To this day, we don't know what people liked in Justice's music before. For example, for most people, if you say Justice, they will think about the distortion and stuff like this, but many of the songs don't have distortion at all; 'D.A.N.C.E.,' for example. From the beginning, we didn't know what was connecting with people in our music, and therefore, we can't anticipate anything. We don't think about what people expect, or anticipate. It's too complicated, and too alienating. We have no idea, you know?"
It looks as if fans will have to wait until the album's release to decide for themselves. In the meantime, de Rosnay offered a few more words to assure fans that Justice haven't changed the way they go about making music.
"It's just a new album," he claims. "At the end, it's just 40 or 50 minutes of music. Just an album, nothing less, nothing more. It's made to entertain you. That's what we did with this album, like we did the first album."
Audio, Video, Disco is out October 25 via Ed Banger/Because/Elektra.